Author Topic: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not  (Read 2551 times)

Astro1959

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The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:42:58 pm »
I don't want to turn this into a 'In Luhnow We Trust' conversation.  Either you do or you don't.

I think there is a case to be made for doing nothing. But then, there is also a case to be made for doing something.

The team is built around a three man core: Altuve,  Correa, Springer. Preserving that core is critical to both immediate and long term success.
The team is getting key contributions from 3 guys who are all unrestricted free agents at end of the season: Rasmus, Valbuena and Gomez.
How replaceable are they through farm system without degrading roster talent? Very. And not at all.

First, it should be noted that Rasmus would likely be willing to sign a two-year extension to stay in Houston. He's streaky as hell and not particularly good against LH pitching, but he is also a 80/25/80 hitter who is plus glove and plus locker room. He's likely a 2 for $30 million deal.
Last year at this time I imagined him to be expendable because of Preston Tucker. But PTuck isn't half the outfielder Colby is, and despite a sweet swing, struggled with the bat early this season.  Other than Tucker Luke Aplin or possibly Teoscar Hernandez may be ready next Spring. But, Aplin is a poor man's Jake Mrasnick, and that's not exactly an upgrade over Rasmus, while Hernandez was almost written out of the prospect puzzle before this season wrote him back in. 

Astros could venture into OF trade market for a Jay Bruce or more interestingly a Will Myers, maybe even oft injured but dynamic Yankee outfielder in Ellsbury or Gardner. For all of that, I would roll the dice with Colby and Tucker. We know that little Tucker is still two years or so away. But one of the Tucker boys eventually holds down the LF spot.

In the meantime, Colby could easily slide to CF at the end of this year when Gomez walks (no way can the Astros justify paying GoGo given his limited on field production). If Jake could hit even a little bit, he would be a CF for the next 5 years. But he can't, so a CF platoon of Colby and Jake seems reasonable for the foreseeable future.

I have even less interest in upgrading 3B outside of our system. Not sure if Moran makes it, but feel very confident that Bregman will. With Marwin around, we rely on him to balance the ups and downs of a younger player.

1B is its own challenge. AJ shows huge pop, but at the moment, MLB off speed stuff seems to be his undoing.  His strikeout ratio makes him hard to keep up while we are battling for a division title (Rangers pitching is going to catch up with them). Singleton is struggling to achieve AAAA goodness. That said, both Tyler White and Matt Duffy are still too young to write off (as is Jon, but I've written him off anyway). Again, I have some trade interest in Wil Myers. He can certainly play 1B this season if needed and then move to the outfield next year pushing either Rasmus or Springer into CF.

The C position seems to be drawing interest. We likely lose Castro in the offseason. Gattis is better than expected defensively, but he continues to struggle at the plate. There is nothing at the top of the farm system with a proven productive bat, not Stassi, not Pena. Would love to still have Nottingham to be able to plug in next season, but nope. Lucroy would be a HUGE upgrade over our current tandem. Norris would likely be a better Gattis. Can we win with Gattis/Castro? I think so. Would Lucroy make the lineup significantly more dangerous? Absolutely.  But at what cost?

I would love for the Astros to feature another big arm pitcher in the front five. Michael Feliz comes to mind. Chris Devenski hits 94 MPH on the gun as well. Down south we have a hard thrower in Musgrove on the cusp, with softer throwing Rogers seemingly more major league ready. At least another year away is Frances Marte.  That's five good young arms for at most two open spots in the Astro rotation next season. Of course, none of those guys have the proven track record of a HEALTHY Sonny Gray or a HEALTHY Tyson Ross. But neither of those guys are healthy and both of their teams want GoGo like returns in the form of prospects. The only guy I trade the farm system for is Chris Archer, and he is either hurting or in the midst of just a nightmarish year that is inexplicable.

The bullpen needs a lefty specialist to supplant Ineffective Tony Sipp.  James Hoyt comes to mind. That said, we have already mortgaged the future for one set up man in Ken Giles, doing it twice would be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Bottom line, three targets I like: Wil Myers, Jonathon Lucroy and Chris Archer. Each guy will warrant at minimum two top 10 Astro prospects -- very possibly our Most Valuable Prospect Mr. Bregman.

Personally, I would rather sit tight. It's going to be a very tough fight for the wildcard -- with Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Indians, Tigers even the Rangers all battling. That said, other than the Indians, no team has been better in the AL for the last two months than our Astros. 

In my mind three young guns may make the difference in our success this year: Reed, Hoyt and Bregman. I would rather lose with them than face the future without them. If we could get a Myers or a Lucroy without losing any of these three, might be worth doing. Otherwise, I say believe in the talent we have on hand. 


JimR

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 02:46:53 pm »
Did you say something?
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VirtualBob

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 11:12:13 pm »
Wow. Gives "TMI" a new twist. Or maybe just TMW?
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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 08:31:18 am »
I don't want to turn this into a 'In Luhnow We Trust' conversation.  Either you do or you don't.

I think there is a case to be made for doing nothing. But then, there is also a case to be made for doing something.

The team is built around a three man core: Altuve,  Correa, Springer. Preserving that core is critical to both immediate and long term success.
The team is getting key contributions from 3 guys who are all unrestricted free agents at end of the season: Rasmus, Valbuena and Gomez.
How replaceable are they through farm system without degrading roster talent? Very. And not at all.

First, it should be noted that Rasmus would likely be willing to sign a two-year extension to stay in Houston. He's streaky as hell and not particularly good against LH pitching, but he is also a 80/25/80 hitter who is plus glove and plus locker room. He's likely a 2 for $30 million deal.
Last year at this time I imagined him to be expendable because of Preston Tucker. But PTuck isn't half the outfielder Colby is, and despite a sweet swing, struggled with the bat early this season.  Other than Tucker Luke Aplin or possibly Teoscar Hernandez may be ready next Spring. But, Aplin is a poor man's Jake Mrasnick, and that's not exactly an upgrade over Rasmus, while Hernandez was almost written out of the prospect puzzle before this season wrote him back in. 

Astros could venture into OF trade market for a Jay Bruce or more interestingly a Will Myers, maybe even oft injured but dynamic Yankee outfielder in Ellsbury or Gardner. For all of that, I would roll the dice with Colby and Tucker. We know that little Tucker is still two years or so away. But one of the Tucker boys eventually holds down the LF spot.

In the meantime, Colby could easily slide to CF at the end of this year when Gomez walks (no way can the Astros justify paying GoGo given his limited on field production). If Jake could hit even a little bit, he would be a CF for the next 5 years. But he can't, so a CF platoon of Colby and Jake seems reasonable for the foreseeable future.

I have even less interest in upgrading 3B outside of our system. Not sure if Moran makes it, but feel very confident that Bregman will. With Marwin around, we rely on him to balance the ups and downs of a younger player.

1B is its own challenge. AJ shows huge pop, but at the moment, MLB off speed stuff seems to be his undoing.  His strikeout ratio makes him hard to keep up while we are battling for a division title (Rangers pitching is going to catch up with them). Singleton is struggling to achieve AAAA goodness. That said, both Tyler White and Matt Duffy are still too young to write off (as is Jon, but I've written him off anyway). Again, I have some trade interest in Wil Myers. He can certainly play 1B this season if needed and then move to the outfield next year pushing either Rasmus or Springer into CF.

The C position seems to be drawing interest. We likely lose Castro in the offseason. Gattis is better than expected defensively, but he continues to struggle at the plate. There is nothing at the top of the farm system with a proven productive bat, not Stassi, not Pena. Would love to still have Nottingham to be able to plug in next season, but nope. Lucroy would be a HUGE upgrade over our current tandem. Norris would likely be a better Gattis. Can we win with Gattis/Castro? I think so. Would Lucroy make the lineup significantly more dangerous? Absolutely.  But at what cost?

I would love for the Astros to feature another big arm pitcher in the front five. Michael Feliz comes to mind. Chris Devenski hits 94 MPH on the gun as well. Down south we have a hard thrower in Musgrove on the cusp, with softer throwing Rogers seemingly more major league ready. At least another year away is Frances Marte.  That's five good young arms for at most two open spots in the Astro rotation next season. Of course, none of those guys have the proven track record of a HEALTHY Sonny Gray or a HEALTHY Tyson Ross. But neither of those guys are healthy and both of their teams want GoGo like returns in the form of prospects. The only guy I trade the farm system for is Chris Archer, and he is either hurting or in the midst of just a nightmarish year that is inexplicable.

The bullpen needs a lefty specialist to supplant Ineffective Tony Sipp.  James Hoyt comes to mind. That said, we have already mortgaged the future for one set up man in Ken Giles, doing it twice would be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Bottom line, three targets I like: Wil Myers, Jonathon Lucroy and Chris Archer. Each guy will warrant at minimum two top 10 Astro prospects -- very possibly our Most Valuable Prospect Mr. Bregman.

Personally, I would rather sit tight. It's going to be a very tough fight for the wildcard -- with Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Indians, Tigers even the Rangers all battling. That said, other than the Indians, no team has been better in the AL for the last two months than our Astros. 

In my mind three young guns may make the difference in our success this year: Reed, Hoyt and Bregman. I would rather lose with them than face the future without them. If we could get a Myers or a Lucroy without losing any of these three, might be worth doing. Otherwise, I say believe in the talent we have on hand.

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Astro1959

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 09:13:11 am »
Jim, I think it says "I'm conflicted".


JimR

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 09:20:10 am »
Jim, I think it says "I'm conflicted".

nah, all you wanted was a podium.
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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 10:04:11 am »
I'll bite on your substance. I can't say that I disagree with you. Given the recent trade results, I'm inclined to keep our prospects.
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The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 11:10:15 am »
What was the old question some random clark posted to/about Noe that became a commonly reappropriated phrase here? I can't remember it, but for some reason this post jarred that Noe- related memory. No idea why that could be. Random.


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Astro1959

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 12:14:44 pm »
Jim,

I was thinking out loud on an Astros fan site.

Apparently ONLY you are allowed to do that.

I've posted here twice in three years. Both times you have shown your ass.

If I wanted a podium, I would post daily (look in the mirror).

So, as always, you have done a good job in culling the herd.

Love internet message board bullies. You make it so much fun to be a diehard Astro fan.

Lovingly yours.

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 12:25:31 pm »
What was the old question some random clark posted to/about Noe that became a commonly reappropriated phrase here? I can't remember it, but for some reason this post jarred that Noe- related memory. No idea why that could be. Random.
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JimR

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 12:37:39 pm »
Jim,

I was thinking out loud on an Astros fan site.

Apparently ONLY you are allowed to do that.

I've posted here twice in three years. Both times you have shown your ass.

If I wanted a podium, I would post daily (look in the mirror).

So, as always, you have done a good job in culling the herd.

Love internet message board bullies. You make it so much fun to be a diehard Astro fan.

Lovingly yours.

I am not alone when I say it was two too many. I remember you well.
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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 12:53:13 pm »
The post didn't bother me as much as some of the others in this thread.  He seemed to go a long way around to say he doesn't think the Astros need to give up any of their talent.  So, what.  Back in the early 2000s there used to be threads about whether any moves should be made and no one got bent out of shape.  I didn't find the theme of this one any different.

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JimR

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 01:03:44 pm »
The post didn't bother me as much as some of the others in this thread.  He seemed to go a long way around to say he doesn't think the Astros need to give up any of their talent.  So, what.  Back in the early 2000s there used to be threads about whether any moves should be made and no one got bent out of shape.  I didn't find the theme of this one any different.

Yup. He made a speech, then the obligatory "thoughts?" The topic was normal. There has been a trade deadline tumors thread on here for days, and the discussion on that thread will confuse and intensify as the deadline gets closer. Did he post in that thread.

 My problem is I remembered him. Not saying I am being rational, BG. His know it all treatises are fingernails on a blackboard for me.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 01:25:07 pm by JimR »
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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2016, 01:46:00 pm »
Yup. He made a speech, then the obligatory "thoughts?" The topic was normal. There has been a trade deadline tumors thread on here for days, and the discussion on that thread will confuse and intensify as the deadline gets closer. Did he post in that thread.

 My problem is I remembered him. Not saying I am being rational, BG. His know it all treatises are fingernails on a blackboard for me.
I didn't feel like he was preaching, just long winded

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pots

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2016, 02:15:24 pm »
I'm still trying to figure out how right handed, 29 year old,  James Hoyt is an untouchable who could replace lefty specialist Sipp. 

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2016, 02:30:38 pm »
The post didn't bother me as much as some of the others in this thread.  He seemed to go a long way around to say he doesn't think the Astros need to give up any of their talent.  So, what.  Back in the early 2000s there used to be threads about whether any moves should be made and no one got bent out of shape.  I didn't find the theme of this one any different.

That was the way that I took it, which is why I responded on the merits of his proposed course of action rather than being dismissive or snarky. I don't like trading prospects as a general rule (I realize that prospects are currency) because I see talent development as a strength of Luhnow & Co. I've had reservations about the trades we've made where we have given up prospects. I realize that potential and a dollar will get you a ride on the St. Charles Ave. Streetcar, and that most so-called prospects never pan out.
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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2016, 03:20:46 pm »
I'm still trying to figure out how right handed, 29 year old,  James Hoyt is an untouchable who could replace lefty specialist Sipp.

What does being 29 have to do with anything? Sipp is more effective against RHers than LHers this year. So that negates the "only southpaw in the bullpen" argument.

pots

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2016, 04:01:05 pm »
What does being 29 have to do with anything? Sipp is more effective against RHers than LHers this year. So that negates the "only southpaw in the bullpen" argument.

29 goes to him not being untouchable.  Right handed goes to him not being a replacement for a lefty specialist.   And your right/left information on Sipp is wrong  He hasn't been good against either this year but certainly he has not been more effective against RHers.  Traditionally Sipp is usually equal against righties and lefties.    either way Sipp isn't being replaced by anybody.  They just signed him to a 3 year contract
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 04:12:39 pm by pots »

Astro1959

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2016, 04:12:38 pm »
FWIW, I wrote the post thinking I had a point -- stand pat, don't trade prospects.

I started running through the scenarios in my head (in writing).

Realized that trading for Lucroy, Myers or Archer would make sense.

That's it. Not preaching. Just a stream of conscious that really proved that I was more conflicted than clear.

I gave your first note the benefit of the doubt. Because, my post did turn into an unresolved mess.

But you couldn't let that go.

You see it as preachy. I see it as talking baseball about a team I'm more than invested in. Trying to understand the layers  that the minor leagues present. Can't do that in any other sport. That's why its so interesting.

Seems better than "Cargo sucks. Trade him for Mike Trout." Apparently not.


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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2016, 04:53:49 pm »
What was the old question some random clark posted to/about Noe that became a commonly reappropriated phrase here? I can't remember it, but for some reason this post jarred that Noe- related memory. No idea why that could be. Random.

After the first 50,000 words most any post starts to remind one of Noe.
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JimR

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Re: The case for doing nothing at the trade line - or not
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2016, 06:37:45 pm »
FWIW, I wrote the post thinking I had a point -- stand pat, don't trade prospects.

I started running through the scenarios in my head (in writing).

Realized that trading for Lucroy, Myers or Archer would make sense.

That's it. Not preaching. Just a stream of conscious that really proved that I was more conflicted than clear.

I gave your first note the benefit of the doubt. Because, my post did turn into an unresolved mess.

But you couldn't let that go.

You see it as preachy. I see it as talking baseball about a team I'm more than invested in. Trying to understand the layers  that the minor leagues present. Can't do that in any other sport. That's why its so interesting.

Seems better than "Cargo sucks. Trade him for Mike Trout." Apparently not.

Your last two sentences sum your attitude up to me. Your posts alone demonstrate intelligent understanding of the ins and outs of this game, and the rest of us poor unwashed try to trade Gomez for Trout.
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